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Room In Your Backpack for the Devil

 

If you don’t leave room in your backpack for the devil…

I don’t know what to tell you about why I had a cache of electronic stuff in the basement of my apartment. Apartments don’t even have basements. I guess it was more of a utility tunnel, where I found the abandoned equipment cage that became my personal survival locker. It was something my dad must’ve instilled in me. The need to keep all the connector cables, power supplies, disk drives, and shit from the past, in a large plastic bin. Always. Never throw way tech. Just yesterday, when a family came in with iPhone 13’s I happened to have the exact charging cable they needed. No longer available on the open market.

Anyway, the devil was given plenty of room in my head and in my cache. That’s what I started calling it. My cache. Almost like my backup, or my iCloud. But this was very real. Just the place where I dropped little bags of tech. A few found rounds of ammo I had no weapon to fire. A portable X-ray scanner. A thousand ssd drives recovered from the Malibu Canyon Data Center meltdown of 2025. And stuff. Tons of stuff.

I fancied a tech-gear backpack for my kit. I traveled light with no visible or traceable weaponry. Hid-tech is good tech. I had a conversation the other morning with a survivalist man, who arrived wounded and disoriented. “It’s not loaded if there’s not one in the chamber.” I laughed. “So, what do you call the magazine then?” “Loaded mag.” “Fine. So, loaded mag, unloaded gun. Do I have it right?”

I’m not sure if the survivalists or the poets are the most valuable members of our group. As we try to dig out, sort out, live out our lives, what’s going to be the idea that keeps us from giving up? It’s not like there’s an identifiable enemy. GAA isn’t bad. They aren’t trying to be evil. The event just gave some of us reasons to fight. Abandon the cloud, the city, the grid. Not tech. No, we still needed a lot of tech. Just keeping the AF-2 was a big part of our day. The wind turbines were operating at about 5% and dropping. Solar panels were all dead. The generator could use almost any fuel, but we had little ways of bringing the fuel, power, energy to the array of ssd drives holding the entire digital record of our life thus far on planet Earth. An Earth we were not prepared to lose, but also, profit, so…

Apple was the first company to turn. In the name of privacy and security, their island of isolation became a weapon. At first they were charging us to store our data in the cloud. Now, they are charging for the retrieval of that data. Old photo, in 1080p, 1 credit. HD video of your grandkid taking his first steps, 7,227 credits. I could no longer afford to recall my HD memories.

But the fracture caused all that to come down for a nanosecond of historical time. Our little consortium of characters coded a seek and retrieve bot (RAGS) to suck down as much of the DHA as it had become uncloaked, unprotected. We almost failed when the generator blew up in the main backup area. After the fire was out it was a race to gather fuel, real human petroleum fuel, to keep the download in progress running. We fanned out across Austin, seeking cars, propane tanks, containers and dollys. Cars didn’t run. The EMP had fried all GPS and control logic systems. Their gas was what we needed anyway.

You already know, we were partially successful. Thus, I am able to transmit this story so far back in time. Time:Casting we call it. We can’t send humans. We can only send text messages. 140 characters in length. To the people in your time who assembled this book for you, my gratitude. I’m hopeful that there is enough wisdom in our current time to provide you with some nudge to move you to a more optimistic and fruitful state of mind. The shit that’s about to go down is awful. I can’t do much to prepare you for that.

You’ve seen the sci-fi movies. Those are creative ideations of the horror. The horror is much worse when it’s happening to your skin, your children’s skin, and your own mind begins to buzz with an abnormal energy. We don’t think that energy is man-made. We may be experiencing a transmission of some sort. But even in today’s revised:modern life, we don’t have the tech or the tools to decode the message.

Oh, one bit of good news. It is possible for you to get a message back to me, in my time. I can’t explain it all now. At the moment, focus on getting power, water, and food under management. We’ll get into the details of timeless travel a bit later.

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